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UK reaches "basic agreement" on no-deal Brexit tariffs

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 01:42s

UK reaches "basic agreement" on no-deal Brexit tariffs

Britain's government has reached a general agreement on import tariffs if it leaves the European Union without a deal, trade minister Liam Fox said on Wednesday.

David Pollard reports.

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UK reaches "basic agreement" on no-deal Brexit tariffs

The UK government has reached a basic agreement on import tariffs it would impose if it leaves the EU without a deal.

That's according to Liam Fox - though this was a trade minister who was parsimonious on other details.

Such as: whether to make those details public before a set of key Brexit votes in the UK parliament next week.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH TRADE MINISTER, LIAM FOX, SAYING: "I'm unable to make a decision on behalf of the government as that does not fall within my departmental responsibility." From tariff-free access to EU markets, Britain will face duties if it crashes out of the EU without transitional arrangements.

The question for business is: will Britain slap reciprocal tariffs on EU imports?

Separately, business minister Greg Clark warned that tough choices remained.

While broadcaster Sky reported the government as planning to slash tariffs on up to 90 percent of goods.

Again, Fox had little to say.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH TRADE MINISTER, LIAM FOX, SAYING: "I certainly wouldn't comment on any potential leaks, well-informed or otherwise." In the meantime, Britain's talks with the EU on amending its divorce deal have made no headway, EU officials said on Wednesday.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EU COMMISSION SPOKESMAN, MARGARITIS SCHINAS, SAYING: "Discussions have been difficult.

No solution has been identified at this point that is consistent with the Withdrawal Agreement, including the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland." Britain is currently set to exit the EU on March 29 but EU leaders will decide at a summit on March 21 whether to prolong a negotiating period beyond that.

A scenario seen as the most likely, according to a new Reuters poll of economists.

Where nearly all of those asked say there'll be an extension if, most think, only for a few months.

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